Black-ish spin-off starring Yara Shahidi being eyed for Freeform
The Black-ish spin-off that was in contention at ABC may get a series order over at its sister network Freeform, EW has confirmed.
The May 3 episode titled “Liberal Arts” served as the backdoor pilot for the project, which Deadline first reported was received well at the network but apparently deemed a better fit for the millennial audience of Freeform (formerly ABC Family).
The potential new series would center on the eldest of Dre and Bow Johnson’s (Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross) children, Shahidi’s Zoey, as she starts college. In last week’s episode, she attended at two-day orientation at a fictional Los Angeles university where she learned dad Dre never submitted her housing request, sending her — along with new friend Miriam (Mallory Sparks) — on a mission to correct the problem with the school’s president (Veep regular Matt Walsh) and dean of students (Chris Parnell).
In February, Shahidi told EW she thought it would be “really cool” to see Zoey adapting to a new environment. “[College is] so different from any environment that she’s been in and it really feels like intersectionality in a way that she hasn’t had to deal with it before, being that on a college campus you’re not surrounded by your family as she’s been in the past three-plus years,” she said, “but having to deal with gender and sexual politics as well as race politics alongside everything that’s happening in the world in this election and dealing with those differing opinions.”
Black-ish creator and executive producer Kenya Barris co-wrote the pilot with former Black-ish showrunner Larry Wilmore, who Deadline reports is no longer involved in the new project.
—With reporting by Dan Snierson